Partners for Sustainable Forests is a joint venture between forest, wildlife, and conservation agencies in Pennsylvania to provide forest landowners with the information and assistance necessary to sustainably manage their land.
Do you own forestland?
Over 70 percent of Pennsylvania's forests are privately owned. That equals 12 million acres of land owned by more than 740,000 Pennsylvanians.
It is important for Pennsylvania's forest landowners to learn how to sustainably manage their forests. Forests are a renewable resource that must be managed wisely to provide wood products, wildlife habitat, clean water, and recreational opportunities in a sustainable fashion. Learning to manage your forestland today can help ensure it will be there as a viable resource in the future.
Partners for Sustainable Forests can help you become a better steward of your forest resource. Our partner agencies can help provide you with the information to plan, take action, and make smart decisions about your land.
Learn how to make the right decisions about:
- Harvesting timber
- Managing wildlife habitat
- Protecting water quality
- Planning for financial and estate issues
- Marketing forest products
- Constructing forest roads
- Controlling competing and invasive species
- Minimizing insect and disease pests
Growing healthy and sustainable forests begins with you. Become a responsible steward of your forestland today.
Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts
This organization works to enhance locally led efforts that support the wise use of the state's natural resources and serves as the collective voice for Pennsylvania's 66 county conservation districts. Conservation districts provide assistance for a range of issues unique to their county such as abandoned mines, environmental education, erosion and sedimentation pollution control, forest management, and water quality protection.
PA Association of Conservation Districts website
Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry
Organized within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry offers a range of information and technical assistance to woodland owners. Service foresters meet with private forest landowners, examine their forestland, make management recommendations, and review forest stewardship plans prepared by other professionals. The bureau also provides technical assistance on activities that qualify for federal Farm Bill programs.
PA Bureau of Forestry website
Pennsylvania Forestry Association
The nation's oldest grassroots state organization devoted to forest conservation promotes the proper management of Pennsylvania's forests. Membership is open to all interested in the stewardship of Pennsylvania's forest resources. The primary role of the association is providing education through their quarterly magazine, newsletter articles, special nature trips, and other for-sale publications.
PA Forestry Association website
Pennsylvania Forest Stewards
This program, organized by the Penn State Extension Natural Resources team, trains volunteers in the principles of forest stewardship so they can share what they learned with other forest landowners. Pennsylvania Forest Stewards initially receive 40 hours of classroom and field training. In exchange, Pennsylvania Forest Stewards agree to invest a like amount of their time relaying what they learned to motivate forest landowners in their communities. Participants in the program are selected through a nomination process.
PA Forest Stewards website
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Game Commission wildlife diversity biologists are available to provide free technical assistance to landowners about how they can manage their property for wildlife through the Private Landowner Assistance Program (PLAP). This program focuses on providing critical habitat for species of greatest conservation need and overall wildlife diversity. After an initial telephone contact, the biologist will determine if there is reasonable habitat potential for these species and may conduct a site visit to further evaluate the property. Specific habitat improvement opportunities for the property are discussed and later detailed in a management plan. Tree and shrub seedlings, publications, and nesting structures are available for purchase from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Northwest Region 814-432-3187
Southwest Region 724-238-9523
Northcentral Region 570-398-4744
Southcentral Region 814-643-1831
Northeast Region 570-675-1143
Southeast Region 610-926-3136
PA Game Commission website
Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
This organization serves as the umbrella organization for land trusts and conservancies in the state. These organizations strive to protect lands of significant conservation value by working with landowners. The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association provides in-depth guidance and resources on conservation topics and tools, including model conservation easements.
PA Conserve Land website
PA Conservation Tools website
Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative®
This voluntary program works to ensure that future generations have abundant, healthy, and productive forest resources. Through the program, landowners receive information to make proper forest-management decisions while loggers attend trainings to learn safer, more productive skills and proper environmental protection practices. Logger training lies at the core of the initiative in Pennsylvania.
PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative website
Pennsylvania Tree Farm Program
This is an internationally recognized forest certification program operated under the guidance of the American Tree Farm System, a branch of the American Forest Foundation. Tree Farm inspectors examine private woodlands, providing management advice and recommendations. Landowners meeting the standards and guidelines have their land "certified" as a sustainably managed forest--a forest producing continuous crops of trees while providing habitat for wildlife, clean water, and recreational opportunities. Program certification may provide access to improved timber markets.
PA Tree Farm Program website
Penn State Natural Resources Extension
Forestry and wildlife information and educational programs for forest landowners are provided through webinars, publications, newsletters, workshops, conferences, meetings, exhibits, field tours, and short courses. Extension foresters partner with University specialists and other agencies to conduct forest stewardship educational activities for landowners and natural resource professionals and educate youth about forest ecology and the environment.
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
These agencies work together on the administration of various USDA Farm Bill incentive programs. The Farm Bill has opportunities for landowners interested in technical and financial assistance for applying conservation practices to their properties. NRCS administers USDA Farm Bill Incentive Programs and provides technical assistance for forest management plans and forestry and wildlife conservation practices. FSA handles eligibility requirements for USDA Farm Bill Programs and administers funding for conservation cost-share programs.
Farm Service Agency Phone: 717-237-2113
Farm Service Agency Website
NRCS Phone: 888-300-8379
Woodland Owner Associations
More than 20 independent woodland owner associations exist across Pennsylvania. Providing educational and networking opportunities for members and the general public about a diverse array of forest-related topics is an important objective of most associations. This goal is accomplished through the use of meetings, field demonstrations, tours, seminars, and newsletters. Most groups do not require land ownership to become a member.
Woodland Owners Associations website
Woodland Owners Associations